• June 19th, 2019
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Top academic achiever shares recipe for success


Steven Klukowski

KEETMANSHOOP - Raised in a family where teaching runs in the blood, Shannen da Rocha – who walked away with four prestigious accolades qualifying her as the top performing Unam student for the 2019 academic year – shed more light on her journey leading to such outstanding achievements, in an exclusive interview with New Era.

Coming from a legacy within the teaching profession with her grandparents, mother and aunt as seasoned teachers she informed this reporter that she will “always be a teacher at heart,” even if she decides to change her career path in future. “After completing my secondary education in South Africa, I enrolled for a course in international studies at Stellenbosch University, but was seriously attacked by two men in my second year of study, which caused me not complying to the set academic standards of the institution, resulting in me being excluded from the study programme,” said Da Rocha.  She added it was during her time of teaching at a primary school in Rosh Pinah that she developed her passion for children and for teaching, hence her decision to enrol for a degree course in education at Unam Southern Campus in Keetmanshoop. 
“After the personal trauma I experienced in South Africa I realised the needs existing for vulnerable kids going through similar or other harsh circumstances,” she said in the interview.

The cum laude student elaborates on the difficulties that she experienced during her first year of studies due to the emotional wounds inflicted by the bad experience during her studies in South Africa. “It was hard for me to cope with my emotional stress and at the same time concentrate on my studies,” she emphasised. Da Rocha however attributes her success to her studies of the principles of self-discipline, hard work and dedication. She added that “time management is of absolute importance when you want to deliver the best of your abilities – one should rather commit your undivided attention to your studies than  on things of no value.” In respect of future plans the young lady stressed that it is her desire to pursue a master’s degree in education, specialising in psychology as a means to assist and support vulnerable children.  “I feel like teaching is the foundation of so many professions,” said Da Rocha. 

She remains adamant she will remain a teacher at heart regardless of what the future might hold for her. “Do not allow bad experiences to prevent you from realising your dreams,” said Da Rocha as a message to the youth. She in addition encourages them to fight for something if they want it in life, always striving to do more than their best. Da Rocha who obtained her Bachelor of Education (Pre-Primary and Lower Primary) (Honours) degree was awarded the dean’s award, best graduating degree per student, vice-chancellor’s medal and chancellor’s medals at the graduation ceremony. 


New Era Reporter
2019-05-02 09:05:29 1 months ago

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